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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 20, No. 4, 2020, pp. 2032-2043
Bioline Code: hs20167
Full paper language: English
Document type: Study
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2020, pp. 2032-2043

 en Pediatric self-medication use in Rwanda – a cross sectional study
Ukwishaka, Joyeuse; Umuhoza, Christian; Cartledge, Peter & McCall, Natalie


Background: Self-medication, a worldwide practice, has both benefits and risks. Many countries have regulated non-prescription medications available for use in self-medication. However, in countries such as Rwanda, where prescriptions are not required to purchase medications, prescription, non-prescription and traditional medications have been used for self-medication.
Objectives: To determine the reported self-medication use in Rwanda and to determine attitudes and reasons associated with parental decisions to self-medicate their children.
Methods: A cross-sectional multi-center questionnaire based quantitative study of 154 parents/caregivers of children under ten years undertaken in private and public health facilities.
Results: The use of self-medication was reported to be 77.9%. Among these parents/caregivers, 50.8% used modern self-medication only, 15.8% used traditional self-medication only and 33.3% used both types of self-medication. Paracetamol was the most commonly used drug in modern self-medication; the traditional drugs used were Rwandan local herbs. Parents/caregivers who used modern medicines had slightly more confidence in self-medication than self-medication users of traditional medicines (p=0.005). Parents/caregivers who used modern self-medication reported barriers to consultation as a reason to self-medicate more frequently than those who used traditional drugs. Having more than one child below 10 years of-age was the only socio-demographic factor associated with having used self-medication (AOR=4.74, CI: 1.94-11.58, p=0.001). Being above 30 years (AOR= 5.78, CI: 1.25-26.68, p=0.025) and living in Kigali (AOR=8.2, CI: 1.58-43.12, p=.0.012) were factors associated with preference of modern self- medication compared to traditional self-medication.
Conclusion: Self-medication is common in Rwanda. Parents/caregivers are involved in this practice regardless of their socio-demographic background.

Self-medication; medicines; parents; caregivers; children; Nonprescription Drugs; Rwanda.

© Copyright 2020 - Ukwishaka J et al.

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